If there is one thing that we have all learnt in the past 2 years, it’s that making plans about the coming months has become more challenging than ever. Nonetheless, planning ahead remains indispensable for an association such as EuropeOn, representing a sector of over 1.8 million professionals. We need a clear vision to make our sector thrive and contribute fully to the green and digital transitions. There is no time to waste for decarbonisation, electrification, digitalisation and education.
Here are a few highlights of the actions and events we aim to deliver in 2022.
- Contribution to the ongoing discussions on the EU’s Fit for 55 package
With the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission is profoundly revising its climate and energy laws in order to reach ambitious targets in terms of decarbonisation of our economies. Electrical contractors are key to successfully implement the energy transition by installing and maintaining electric technologies such as solar panels and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, or advising consumers on the best available clean energy technologies. This is why we released some recommendations for the ongoing negotiations on the Renewable and Energy Efficiency Directives. We are currently engaging with policymakers to make our asks better heard.
Another much-awaited revision regards the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, for which the Commission released a proposal on 15 December. While EuropeOn circulated some key asks ahead of this release, we will soon share a reaction paper. We have already expressed some major comments with peer associations.
In parallel of the Fit for 55 debate, the Commission will also review this year the EU’s default primary energy factor (PEF). Over the years, EuropeOn has relentlessly questioned the default coefficient which is detrimental to the scale up of electrification across Europe, even though electricity is decarbonising fast, with renewables overtaking fossil fuels in electricity production in 2020 and consistently growing in the first semester of 2021.
- European Year of Youth: we need more young Europeans in the electrical contracting sector!
Across Europe, national associations of electrical contractors report severe difficulties when it comes to hiring new talent, while order books are full. With higher climate and energy targets, this situation is set to worsen if not tackled head-on.
This observation has been at the root of our Skills4Climate campaign. In 2021, we set up a new working group dedicated to the skills and recruitment difficulties. One clear challenge has emerged: we need to make our sector more appealing to young people. Many great campaigns have been developed by our members all over Europe but it takes a lot of time and effort to change mindsets and show young people, their parents and their teachers that technical education, especially in the electrical contracting sector, is a fast-evolving, versatile and future-proof career path.
With the European Year of Youth and the Fit for 55, we hope to give a new push to our campaign, to raise more awareness of the career opportunities in our sector. Stay tuned!
- Defining the future of the electrical contracting sector and strengthening our position in the value chain
In 2021, EuropeOn started a series of internal roundtables on top-priority topics. These roundtables will continue in 2022 and are open to all members.
Two topics have already been defined and will be discussed in the first quarter of the new year:
- “Selling ourselves” – electrical contractors must take pride in their varied skillset: they are not mere installers, they are integrators who can connect electrical technologies together, from built-in lighting to solar panels, electric vehicles charging points, heat-pumps, BACS and so on. They can play a decisive role in advising consumers to manage their energy better and start renovations with high return on investment.
- “Women in trade” – while our sector is increasingly struggling to hire, we observe that our professionals remain mostly male. We need to bridge the gap and look at innovative initiatives.
If you are a member of EuropeOn or of one of our member associations and would like to know more about these upcoming roundtables, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not want to keep our ideas and reflections to ourselves. Therefore, we are very pleased to schedule a meeting with our US counterparts in Spring, where we hope to engage with a big delegation of US electrical contractors and compare ideas from both sides of the Atlantic.
- Meeting again… face to face and digitally
We hope that 2022 will finally be the year where our members can meet again face to face, visit innovative projects across Europe and engage passionately with their counterparts. This applies to our working groups but also to our Annual General Meeting and Installers’ Summit which are expected to take place in Luxembourg City on 17 and 18 November 2022.
EuropeOn also plans to host a Brussels-based event in the third quarter of the year… let’s discuss that a bit later!
Finally, we will take part in regular events that we have been supporting for years, such as the Solar Power Summit, the European Fire Safety Week and, hopefully face to face, the EU Sustainable energy week (EUSEW) and the European Vocational Skills week (VET week) that are both organised by the European Commission.
In the meantime, EuropeOn wishes to all its readers a happy and electrifying new year!